Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

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Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK4GHZ » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:07 am

Published January 14.
This video starts getting interesting at 2:00 in, Gov'ner.
We have been fortunate to have had an engineering sample of the IC-9700 VHF/UHF Base Station Amateur SDR Transceiver from Icom Inc. to evaluate for a short time.
So far, we have been amazed by the fantastic sensitivity and performance of the radio.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tXoqPbTrUM
I've seen an MDS of -146dBm
At a casual glance, it's several dB more sensitive than the venerable IC-910:
910-MDS.PNG
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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK1JA » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:54 am

Good find!

First glance sounds promising, they seem to think that the 9700 has set the bar high.

:thumbup:

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How the Government Shutdown Affects FCC Operations

Post by VK4GHZ » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:27 am

Here's a thought bubble...

How the Government Shutdown Affects FCC Operations

https://www.perkinscoie.com/en/news-ins ... tions.html
... In particular, equipment authorizations and licensing services are suspended.

This means that manufacturers seeking to have their radio frequency devices certified for marketing, sale or operation purposes and parties seeking spectrum licenses, among other authorizations, will be unable to obtain such grants for the pendency of the shutdown....
Whilst I'm sure demand will outstrip initial production capacity, a delay in being able to sell into the USA market could be good for the rest of world.
Keep dragging it out, Nancy & Chuck, until we get our allocation!

:popcorn:
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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK5PJ » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:35 pm

hmmm delays in the USA... what a chance alignment of the stars, we may actually benefit from a Trump twitter tantrum for once, now have to check if there is room on the credit card for a 9700 or be an onlooker.

Peter.

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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK3QI » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:56 pm

Conversely,

With the delay in selling into the U.S. market, ICOM will be able to maintain a higher price for the unit into other areas of the world, as there will be no discounting until FCC approval comes through.

Peter 5PJ, take note of the fact that there is only one PTT line out of the unit.

Cheers

Peter VK3QI (VK3ER/p)

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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK5PJ » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:30 pm

VK3QI wrote:Conversely,

With the delay in selling into the U.S. market, ICOM will be able to maintain a higher price for the unit into other areas of the world, as there will be no discounting until FCC approval comes through.

Peter 5PJ, take note of the fact that there is only one PTT line out of the unit.

Cheers

Peter VK3QI (VK3ER/p)
Thanks Peter.. I am hoping there will be a GLUT of production that they can not sell in USA so might be willing to discount them in other markets to clear the back log... yes I live in a dream..

yup single PTT line is a curse on these rigs.. looks like the same surgery I did on my 910 will be needed once warranty expires.

Peter

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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK3ALB » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:54 pm

VK5PJ wrote:
yup single PTT line is a curse on these rigs.. looks like the same surgery I did on my 910 will be needed once warranty expires.

Peter
If you can decode band data from the rig you could use some simple logic to regenerate a PTT line per band using the rig PTT as the master. No need to dig inside.
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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK3QI » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:00 pm

Hi Lou,

The problem is that unlike the 7300, the 9700 does not have the 13 pin AUX connector, hence no "simple" band data out. It has an 8 pin AUX socket instead.

It will require connecting the CI-V, decoding the band information using a suitable program (like Omnirig or a dedicated micro) ) and then using that information to control an external PTT switching unit.

Compare that with the 20 year old technology of the TS2000X where you get 5 PTT lines with individual power controls for HF, 6, 2, 70 and 1.2

Those Kenwood Engineers from the late 90's really knew what they were doing!

**********************************

On the other hand it is great to see that external 10MHz GPS locking is available on the 9700 - a definite positive, especially for the latest data modes.

I am sure the 9700 will be a great rig, popular, matching the 7300 - it's just that the pleas of VHF/UHF/Microwave operators from the IC970, 910, 9100 days have once again been ignored.

Cheers

Peter VK3QI

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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK6OX » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:11 pm

VK3QI wrote: <snip>

Compare that with the 20 year old technology of the TS2000X where you get 5 PTT lines with individual power controls for HF, 6, 2, 70 and 1.2

Those Kenwood Engineers from the late 90's really knew what they were doing!

**********************************

<snip>
Cheers

Peter VK3QI
Off topic I know, but what you've said Peter is why I'm keeping my TS2000X! :D
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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK3QI » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:38 pm

Andy,

I have 3 of the TS2000X rigs myself for that exact reason all with GPS locking etc. etc.


However, from all other points of view the IC9700 will be a game changer for many operators, especially the GPS locking,SDR technology and waterfall display.

It is just disappointing that Icom have ignored the PTT requests which we have formally passed to Icom representatives both here in VK and in Japan.

Cheers

Peter VK3QI

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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK1JA » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:45 pm

Thinking out loud here, so I could be thinking about an idea that simply won't work....

It seems the the 9700 can power pre amps by feeding power up the coax directly from the radio, just like the 910?

If so, there is our per band switch! Put a bias T (so it takes the power out of the coax) inside a PA and invert the logic? It means the 'pre amp' switch on the radio will actually control the ptt of the external PA, and you need to have the PA sequence the lna etc.

There could be in built delays in the radio that could pose a problem. Maybe use the ALC to hold off any output power until things are switched and ready?

Back to my corner my I go.....

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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK3QI » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:57 pm

Jayson,

It may well work as you describe using the preamp out. Of course, you would need to have the preamp switch "on" at all times to ensure the PTT to any external amplifiers would work.

It would have been so easy to put a 13 pin DIN connector and take individual PTT lines off each band!

Peter VK3QI

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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK4GHZ » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:17 pm

VK6OX wrote:Off topic I know, but what you've said Peter is why I'm keeping my TS2000X! :D
Andy, your 20 year old boat anchor will not be competitive in MDS and blocking dynamic range.
Period.
But yes, separate PTT lines in the IC-9700 would have been nice. :roll:
VK3QI wrote:It will require connecting the CI-V, decoding the band information using a suitable program (like Omnirig or a dedicated micro) ) and then using that information to control an external PTT switching unit.
Using CI-V is not a trivial exercise, especially with the Icom P.I.T.A. trick of moving the TX band to the "sub" band for satellite operation.
(For one of their HF/6 boxes, it's dead easy to work with, however.)

Whether the SEQ-9700 sees the light of day, or not, depends on how comprehensive the 9700's CI-V command set is.
Other than that, it's ready to go, albeit changing a few config bytes here and there.
Plug 'n play is much better than having to do surgery amongst high-density SMD, and voiding your 5 year warranty.
SEQ-9700-r2.JPG
You will need to use some imagination, but where the cutout is, is taken up by the touchscreen GUI.
And that's not an error on the silkscreen.
Ten initial PCBs were fabricated back in June 2018.
Waiting, waiting....
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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK3ALB » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:39 pm

VK3QI wrote:
It will require connecting the CI-V, decoding the band information using a suitable program (like Omnirig or a dedicated micro) ) and then using that information to control an external PTT switching unit.
It's not insurmountable.

I know one of the guys at the GARC wrote a CI-V decoder to convert to Yaesu 4 bit band data. As Adam says there are some tricks but it may be possible depending the CI-V implementation. Who knows, Adam's project may resolve the issue.
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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK3QI » Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:18 am

Adam,

The project looks great! In anticipation, congratulations.

Yes, there is no doubt that the specifications of the TS2000X in such things as MDS, Blocking, stability etc. is well exceeded by newer rigs, especially the 9700. however in reality with masthead preamps on VHF etc. and local noise on HF many of these improvements cannot be actually used to their absolute best.

It is just so frustrating that ICOM continues to ignore the pleas of so many operators with their setup, which has been in place now since well before 1990.


Even the IC970 D/H from 1990 with 2, 70, 1.2 and 2.4 only had one PTT out, despite having both a 13 pin DATA out and an 8 pin AUX out!

Cheers

Peter VK3QI

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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK6OX » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:09 pm

VK4GHZ wrote: Andy, your 20 year old boat anchor will not be competitive in MDS and blocking dynamic range.
Period.
But yes, separate PTT lines in the IC-9700 would have been nice. :roll:

<snip>
I can't argue that Adam.....but for my requirements it does an adequate job. As does my TS590S, but I'm currently un-enthused with AR as a whole and funds for a current state of the art ham radio are better spent towards my other hobbies.
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Andy VK6OX

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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK4GHZ » Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:16 am

FYI.
My email inquiry to Icom Australia, asking about availability and indicative pricing for the IC-9700, got this reply:
Icom Australia wrote:At this stage, we are hoping to release the IC-9700 in Australia before the end of Q1. So March is the likely time.

Pricing has not yet been fixed.
We will be reviewing this in the next month or so.
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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK2TS » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:05 am

When the 9700 is released, watch the second hand market being flooded with 910H's :D
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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK5PJ » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:12 am

Hi Tony
VK2TS wrote:When the 9700 is released, watch the second hand market being flooded with 910H's :D
There is already a VK4 trying to sell his 910 for a large sum of money (more that I paid for my fully kitted one 10 years ago), judging by that not sure we will see them cheap based on what hams think their rigs are worth.
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Re: Video: IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base introduction

Post by VK4GHZ » Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:01 am

VK5PJ wrote:There is already a VK4 trying to sell his 910 for a large sum of money (more that I paid for my fully kitted one 10 years ago), judging by that not sure we will see them cheap based on what hams think their rigs are worth.
I noticed that a few weeks ago too, Peter. :lol:
It's not there now.
$2,100 ONO was a cheeky amount to start asking at.
Nobody in their right mind would pay that much with the IC-9700 being so close, and sooooo much better.

I got $1850 for my 910.
It came with 23cm, DSP module, High Stab unit, carry handle, original carton, manuals and accessories, and the 'Multi-Send'.
I had two more firm requests to buy it, with no haggling, less than 24 hours later.
That suggests I could have asked slightly more, maybe $1900.
However, that was almost a year ago.

I reckon a full-optioned IC-910H with 23cm in VGC, (providing the LCD hasn't deteriorated too badly), will sell for as little as $1,300-$1,400 by years end.
A basic IC-910H without 23cm should fetch around $1,000.
If the LCD is in poor condition, then they've become rather awkward to operate, almost useless, and spares parts value only.

However, this will be a great opportunity for those looking to get into VHF/UHF activity on a tight budget.
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